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Ciprofloxacin is for traveller's diarrhoea

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Ciprofloxacin is for traveller's diarrhoea, a course of ciprofloxacin should only be taken if you experience the condition - it should not be taken as a preventative.

In some parts of the world, there is a high rate of resistance to ciprofloxacin (such as south and south-east Asia). In such situations, azithromycin is a more appropriate choice of antibiotic.

On average, ciprofloxacin reduces the duration of traveller's diarrhoea from 3 days to 1.5 days.

Like all medicines, ciprofloxacin can cause side effects, although not everybody will experience them. Side effects that are considered to be common include diarrhoea and nausea. Other uncommon side effects include anorexia, agitation, disorientation, headaches, sleep disorders, muscle pain, and skin rashes or itching.

Ciprofloxacin can affect your reaction times, particularly at the start of treatment, and especially if combined with alcohol. For this reason, your ability to drive or perform other skilled tasks may be compromised.

The usual dose of ciprofloxacin for travellers' diarrhoea is 500mg twice a day for a single day. The tablets should be swallowed with liquid, and can be taken with or without food. You should drink plenty of liquid during the course of treatment to avoid dehydration. Some antacids (for indigestion), iron supplements, milk, and foods or dairy products with a high calcium content, may reduce the effectiveness of ciprofloxacin and should not be taken at the same time of day - take ciprofloxacin at least 1-2 hours before them, or 4 hours after them.

As with all antibiotics, it's important to continue taking the full course of medicine unless told to stop by the doctor; or when used for traveller's diarrhoea, until the diarrhoea resolves. If the diarrhoea symptoms persist or worsen despite the use of ciprofloxacin, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible, as this may indicate that the cause of the diarrhoea is not a bacterial infection and a different treatment approach may be needed.

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